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Royal navy Potential Divers Assessment (PDA)

Potential Divers Assessment (PDA)

Given the additional physical and mental demands of being in the Royal Navy Diver Branch, all candidates must attend the Potential Divers Assessment (PDA).

 The two-and-a-half-day course tests the stamina and strength required by the operational environment, so it’s imperative that you’re in peak physical condition.

The PDA takes place at the Defence Diving School, the home of military diver training, in Horsea Island on the north shore of Portsmouth Harbour. It is made up of:

  • The Diver Personal Fitness Test (DPFT)
  • Water based physical activities and assessments
  • Two try dives to assess suitability

The PDA is a Pass/Fail Course before you commence diving training. If you do not achieve a pass you can not progress as a Clearance Diver until a satisfactory pass is achieved.

The Diver Personal Fitness Test (DPFT)

The DPFT ensures that all divers are physically capable of safely carrying out all of the operational diving duties expected of them.

It’s a pass or fail course, but best efforts are required throughout, not just reaching the minimum standard.

The test criteria and standards are listed in the panels below.

  • Further physical assessments include:
  • A 1,000-metre lake swim in a dry-suit and fins
  • 3m and 6m board jumps with in-water circuits
  • A try dive with self-contained breathing apparatus diving to a maximum depth of 5 metres, in an enclosed dive tank and Horsea Island Lake

You'll also receive lessons on diving theory, SCUBA diving equipment and conduct various water based physical activities.

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flight deck handlers dressed in ochre kit with high viz banding relaxing after a busy session on the flight deck of HMS Prince Of Wales